Local Leaders get set to celebrate the London 2012 Games in communities across the UK
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games have launched an initiative to help individuals within communities play an active role in bringing their friends, family and community members together to celebrate the Olympic and Paralympic Games coming to the UK this summer.
The London 2012 ‘Local Leaders’ will suggest to people ideas and tools to bring their friends, family and communities together to help make the most of the London 2012 Games by creating celebrations for their village, town or City around the Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relays, the 12 week UK-wide London 2012 Festival, or the Olympic and Paralympic sports action.
People can sign up to be a Local Leader at www.london2012.com/localleaders and can play an active part now in preparing their community for international attention when the Torch arrives in the UK.
‘Garden for the Games’ provides Local Leaders with hints and tips from gardening experts, including Blue Peter Gardener Chris Collins and Olympic Park Gardener Des Smith, on how to plant seeds now that will turn window boxes down your street red, white and blue, or to ‘grow gold’ by planting marigolds to flourish the route of the Olympic Torch route.
Once the Olympic Torch flame arrives in the UK on 18 May, Local Leaders are provided with ideas and tools to help bring the community together to welcome the flame and celebrate their local heroes by lining the streets and showing what makes their community special for the 70 day UK wide relay.
On 27 July the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games will be watched by over a billion people around the world, and Local Leaders will be given invite cards, recipe tips, party sheets and more to help them turn their screening of the event into an Olympic themed venue, whether it is in a village hall, pub or living room.
The 4 August is Super Saturday – the day when the most medals are awarded during the Olympic Games. Local Leaders will access recipe ideas to help host barbeques and a day of activity in their homes, gardens and community centres.
For the Paralympic Torch Relay, Local Leaders can help celebrate the national flame lightings in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales by lighting up every corner of the UK with a lantern. Local Leaders will be able to access hints and tips on how to take part in a lantern procession and decorate lanterns with good luck messages for their local Paralympic athlete.
Finally, for the last day of the Paralympic Games on 9 September Local Leaders will be provided with ideas to bring together friends, family and neighbours for a Sunday get-together to see out an unforgettable summer in style.
By signing up at www.london2012.com/localleaders Local Leaders will get access to London 2012 branding, posters and toolkits. Whether the Local Leader invites three friends or their whole community, London 2012 will provide them with the tools to make their celebration one to remember and create opportunities for people across the UK to join in. They will also be able to put their celebration events on the London 2012 Join In listings website, giving local community celebrations exposure on what will be one of the most visited websites in the world this year.
The Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Cllr Prof Delme Bowen said: “Cardiff is proud to be involved in the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Local Leader programme is a great opportunity for local people to come together and celebrate this hugely exciting time.
“The Games is set to inspire many people across our city and this programme will bring communities together and spread the excitement of the occasion right to their doorsteps.”
Seb Coe, LOCOG Chair, said: ‘Local Leaders are brilliant organisers in every community around the country and play an active role in celebrating national events at a local level. Through this programme Local Leaders will help provide opportunities for everyone around the UK to join in with the London 2012 Games.’
LOCOG has worked with community groups across the UK, including the Scouts, Girl Guides, NHS, YMCA, Rotary International, Garden Organic, Sport England, Sport Wales, Sport Scotland, Sport Northern Ireland, SAGA, Mumsnet, Women’s Institute and English Heritage, to inform people about the Local Leaders initiative. Already over 7,000 Local Leaders have signed up.
Now Games organisers are putting the call out to the whole nation to encourage individuals who are keen to play an active role in their friendship group, street or community in celebrating the Games this summer to sign up at www.london2012.com/localleaders.